NBI lawyer, brother in BI face extortion, graft charges

NBI lawyer, brother in BI face extortion, graft charges

MANILA – A National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) lawyer and his brother who is an officer of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday underwent inquest proceedings before the Department of Justice (DOJ) over their alleged involvement in extorting money from BI personnel tagged in the “pastillas” scheme.

NBI Legal Assistance Section chief lawyer Joshua Paul Capiral and his brother, BI Medical Section officer Christopher John Capiral were arrested in an entrapment operation after they received PHP200,000 from the complainant, BI officer Jeffrey Dale Salamde Ignacio.

The NBI Special Action Unit filed robbery/extortion and graft and corruption charges against the Capiral brothers.

NBI Deputy Director and spokesman Ferdinand Lavin said agents had been conducting investigation on the Capiral brothers for more than two weeks saying it was John who approached the NBI.

“Yung kapatid na immigration officer, yun ang tumulay. Tinanggihan na yan ng NBI (The brother who is an immigration officer acted as negotiator. He had been turned down by the NBI),” Lavin said.

Lavin said Joshua Capiral, in his capacity as NBI legal assistance section chief, reviews and evaluates the work of an agent.

“As a matter of practice there are big cases these are evaluated and reviewed to see if the charges filed by the agent are correct, and whether who were those who charged and what is their participation to avoid a shotgun case where everyone is charged without clear specifics,” Lavin said.

Before the entrapment operation, Lavin said the NBI flagged Capiral for initially recommending that only four of the 19 immigration officers be charged for their alleged involvement in the protection racket which allows the entry of Chinese nationals into the country.

“There was a series of communications to the point that he made an impression upon the immigration officials that they can do something about the case,” Lavin said. “We are looking at the involvement of around 30 persons,” Lavin said.

The NBI earlier recommended the filing of criminal charges before the Office of the Ombudsman against 19 BI officers and personnel for their alleged involvement in the money-making scheme while assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The BI personnel are Grifton San Pedro Medina, Deon Carlo Albao, Fidel Mendoza, Abdulhafez dela Tonga Handjibasher, Gabriel Ernest Estacio, Ralph Garcia, Phol Villanueva, Abdul Calaca, Danilo Deudor, Mark Macababad, Aurelio Lucero III, George Bituin, Salahudin Hadjinoor, Chevy Naniong, Hamza Pacasum, Manuel Sarmiento III, Cherry Pie Ricolcol, German Robin, and Ignacio.

Liya Wu, private individual and owner of Empire International Travel and Tours, was also recommended to be charged for allegedly corrupting public officials. (PNA)

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